Usually, I give my take at the end of these. Today, I'm leading off.
I vote for getting Adam Robinson out of Des Moines. Home is where the trouble has been for the wayward Iowa running back (I've been using the term "wayward Iowa running back way too much lately).
Des Moines isn't a bad place, but it seems to be the wrong place for Robinson.
He had a burglary arrest in Des Moines in 2007, but the case was never fully prosecuted, records show. While Robinson made initial court appearances in the case that August, prosecutors dropped the charges about a month later.
Then, the ill-fated Monday night marijuana possession. The eve of the Insight Bowl. While already on suspension. Clearly in "one false move" mode.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz kicked Robinson off the team Jan. 3. Robinson said Sunday the dismissal was for academic problems.
Robinson held a press conference in Des Moines to basically say, "sorry."
"I know I have disappointed you and let you down," said Robinson, Iowa's leading rusher the last two seasons. "For that, I am sorry."
There are two paths to take here.
Done. Gone. Had your chance and "sorry" isn't going to cut it. It's totally fair.
Robinson was suspended for academics for the opening quarter of the Ohio State game. He said Sunday he never tested positive or refused to take a drug test, which we all know now would be treated as a positive test, but acknowledged he did use pot. And, of course, he was suspended for the Insight Bowl for violations of team rules.
Robinson had his chances.
Are the concussions mitigating? Perhaps. We are talking brain injury. Yes, several players have had concussions without the pot benders, but who knows? We are talking brain injury.
Robinson's mother, Sally, was with her son Sunday, and she suggested that she blamed his drug abuse in part on two concussions he suffered late in the season. Robinson suffered two concussions in a period of a month. He didn’t fumble in his first 351 carries as a Hawkeye. He fumbled when he was concussed against MSU and fumbled two more times in November.
"He had a meltdown the first part of December," his mother said.
Robinson said he plans to start drug counseling in Iowa City this semester.
One thing is for certain: The concussions took him out of football routine. This is a young man who clearly needs football routine.
Whenever you hear the "football routine" argument, the example that puts that on thin ice is Tom Osborne and Lawrence Phillips. That was the rationale the legendary Nebraska coach used to keep his star running back on the team after he was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend in 1995.
In August 2009, Phillips was convicted of assault and assorted felonies in San Diego and faces up to 25 years in prison.
Phillips is broken. Adam Robinson is a better bet.
You know Robinson's story: Single-parent home, tough upbringing in Des Moines. Brought to Iowa as a grayshirt before being granted a full scholarship. Moved to safety at one point. Team's leading rusher the last two years (1,775 yards and 15 TDs). Suspended. Suspended. Cited. Gone.
And what of yesterday?
Was it sincere or was it a PR concoction for Robinson to put himself in the best possible light?
He said he has had other offers to play college football, but wants to remain a Hawkeye.
I'm going to guess going public with that desire and putting the question out in front of Ferentz -- again -- isn't going to help him.
Bring him back.
Family honor is at stake. I'd hold Robinson to this Oct. 20 quote:
“She’s wonderful,” the sophomore said Tuesday. “She’s my guardian angel. She raised me by herself, single-parent home. She always provided for me and gave me what I wanted. She worked long hours, tough hours. That in itself speaks volumes about her character and her work ethic.”
Make him live up to super-high standards. A 3.0 GPA. Weekly urine tests.
I'd really, really hold him to this Oct. 20 quote:
“I like to show that chip on the shoulder on the field rather than doing a bunch of talking,” Robinson said. “I think actions speak louder than words in that way.”
Forget about the bling life. Get a degree. Teach school in Des Moines.
Who cares if he plays. Save his life.
@schoulte2010 Up to Kirk. I say no.
@joselopezjr Yes, but he has to go through rehab/counseling. He needs to re-earn his spot on the team.
@spudhawk Yes, assuming he keeps his nose clean- too loaded a question for simple yes or no.
@ScottRenaud Ship's already sailed on him. Nope!
@bradez11 I like your idea of "saving his life" but it shouldn't be on scholarship.
@frysportsradio No. He made Ferentz look like a fool. I can count on one fist the number of games A-Rob has left as a Hawkeye. (Here's Joel's bio on Twitter: I'm the bi-weekly host of the Saturday Night Sports Special, 10pm-midnight on 98.3 WOW FM and on 983wowfm.com! Every other Saturday!)
@lostabet If he improves his grades this semester and stays out of trouble -- yes. (It's good to hear from you again!)
@stevenuzum Too early to say. Need to see the results of his commitments. So the answer is no today, maybe yes this summer.
@KGertsen Going only on what has been made public, Yes. But with strict substance abuse counseling and testing.
@hannahellsworth I think yes. He is a kid and kids make mistakes. But he also needs to own up to those mistakes and understand his actions have consequences. He probably just made a mistake just like DJK.
@hawkize Yeah, if Kirks son gets a pass for two arrests, arob should get a shot as well. (That's quite a stretch. James' indiscretions weren't in the same ballpark. If you're point is not being punished for the super-bad timing, then I agree.)
@mhays83 Yes, on condition that he can't join team untill summer and keeps his name out of the headlines until then. 1 bad thing & Cya.
@MajesticScott No. 3 strikes, plus why do we need a press conf. about your intentions. Just do it quietly and go about your business. (Press conference is going to be a theme here. I can't say I disagree. Adam also had to know how KF would feel about this.)
@megananne3 If they let him back, where do they draw the line in the future? Which broken rules are forgiveable? Which are not? (I'm putting you down as a "no," Megan. I think that's where you were headed.)
@Lucasentric I'd say yes. Zero strikes, dog house & lengthy suspension to overcome first. Kid's got guts to want to make this work.
@drewkluesner Allow. But he'd start at bottom of depth chart. Can't see him passing coker
@marcm717 Yes. After 1 year suspension, satisfactory grades, attendance and conduct becoming of a representative of the program. (One Fairfaxian to another.)
@chrisbrase If he can prove himself in school this semester and keeps out of trouble it should be considered by Kirk.
@dnledwrds89 No. KF hasn't always been consistent with his punishment, but this is a good time to start. Three strikes, you're out.
@DSM_SportsFreak Yes, in 2012.
@cjbecker Yes, he should. He shouldn't be lumped in with DJK. He needs to prove he can keep his nose clean though first.
@JHookwastaken Yeah, but Coker will reign supreme. (Coker should be feeling very secure these days, but the O-line was outstanding in the Insight.)
@hawkelly If he can prove he can stay out of trouble, in and out of the classroom, then I say yes.
@ihawkeyes911 Sure why not. If he was on the team and tested positive for weed, one game suspension. Good grades, keep nose clean. 2012.
@pngustin Yes. I'm not saying make him a starter. I don't think he'd expect that anyway. Give him a chance to get on the right track.
@jfahr No. If he sticks it out at Iowa a full year and focus on his grades/behavior reevaluate then. 1 semesters not enough for me. (Point. A semester isn't long enough. It will be long enough, I think, to get his academics strong for a transfer, which also could be a point here.)
@bpars3 Yes, give him a chance to come back. he needs to make grades and amends. He's what, 20? He deserves another shot. Go Hawks!
@ColoradoHawkeye Initial reaction: No. But there may be something to the concussion claim. But why go public? Not KFs style. I'm on the fence. (I'm putting you down as a "maybe." Don't like having a maybe, but there are a few.)
@eldonfreal Yes. Timing worse than infraction. Let him earn his way back. (Killer timing. Maybe a factor in the KF decision in the first place.)
@CPUHAWK I say he has to prove himself in and outside of school before being allowed to rejoin the team in the spring of 2012.
@HeeHawk I say yes. There are definitely some extenuating circumstances at play here. If he takes care of what he needs to. Let him back.
@germ08 No way. He's had his chances time to move on,
@bucketochicken Yes. No scholly, practice player only (until AIRBHG strikes again). As you said, super-high (ha!) standards - GPA, UAs, etc. (I did say "super high." And "ARBHG" is a concoction of Black Heart Gold Pants. Stands for "Angry Running Back Hating God.")
@RoseBowlBound Yes, if he enters a treatment program, does service work & gets good grades. Make Nile Kinnick proud in other words. (Well said.)
@DJ_Koulianos Let that man MPOD. Even Hawkeyes are human. Humans [bleep] up sometime, but on Saturday's we go hard 4 U.#hawkeyenation. (Yes, this is DJK. I'm not sure what MPOD is. I think it's "Marry Pretty Or Die," which is a little like my "SMOD," which is "Stay Married Or Die.") EDIT: "Make Plays Or Die," my bad.
@MetsFanVI Assuming the drug bust was his only transgression, let him return but not play for 1 year pending good grades and behavior.
@iowahawkeyes If he follows Montell Marion's example, then yes. he needs to go the extra mile to correct the problem first, tho. (Can you compare the two? Honest question.)
@frankswanson Let him return with a 1-to-3 game suspension.
@rwendt40 Watching his presser right now and honestly my attitude has changed, I have no problem with KF letting him back on the team.
@kaugie01 An interesting experiment - whether more are willing to let AROB back than DJK, and why...
@mattwinkleman Let him play, but would be his last chance. Anyone know where he stands on grades? (KF said before the Insight that he was eligible academically.)
@oneloveinspires I think he needs to prove himself first. He is sorry but he did break team rules and the law. (I'm going yes here.)
@MetsFanVI Let him demonstrate his commitment and take advantage of the academic opportunity he's been offered.
@GabboWellington Yes, but as a walk-on (I'm assuming scholly was yanked?). Needs to earn back w/ play AND GPA, maybe community serv too.
@Stolihawk Yes, only after sitting out season and prove himself academically.
@blakenagel Yes. College is about making mistakes and learning from them. Set some "return guidelines" and see what happens.
@ScottMoudry Yes back on the team in 2012, assuming classes going smooth and no other hiccups.
@hawkeyejake40 No. no one player is bigger than the team. if k.f. were to let a.r. back that would change, and he would lose all control. (I can't disagree with any of that. We all know that KF will stand by this decision and this would, I imagine, be a big part of his reasoning.)
@bucketochicken It'll *never* happen, though. KF would never do it (not that he's under any obligation to do so). So get grades up, transfer. (Exactly. This is what I believe the next move is.)
@DSchrage No. Sounds like he is making excuses 4 his bad behavior. Concussion as excuse for academics, fine, but not 4 smokin' it up. (A lot of Hawkeyes suffer concussions. The symptoms that RB Paki O'Meara went through sounded crippling. I don't remember him being cited for marijuana. That said, brain injuries are still a mystery. Can they change behavior? I don't think so, but I am not an authority.)
@JordanHojo Make him get that 3.0 GPA and do some community service before he gets back. Then, he's invested in not screwing up again. (I think this is the way to go. Amazingly high standards. Live up to them, you can play. That said, the cows are probably in the corn on this one.)
markmagnuson7 Yes he deserves a 2nd chance, didn't commit a violent crime. Also sounds willing to make changes and work hard for team. (I wonder if he's had dialogue with KF since before the bowl.)
@DthruF Have to be suspended at least 4 games if KF let return. Probably doesn't matter who's running the ball w/ KOKs predictability. (Hey, don't drag KOK into this.)
@Concreteking1 Yes, with a very short leash.
@MPH317 I support any decision Coach Ferentz makes on this matter. (I'm going "no" here.)
@michaelgraham Is he still on scholarship for this coming semester or is he paying his own way? (Good question. I don't think so.)
@alexkutz Let him walk on next year and pay for his school if he proves himself offer him a scholly for his 5th year.
@bucketochicken Unfortunately, it creates a slippery slope for KF. *Should* he let him back? Probably. *Can* he let him back? Probably not. (I would say more than probably. Turns this into a wooden exercise, but it's still a good debate.)
@itsryne_notryan Let him return. The dude is 20 years old. People make mistakes. Given he's on a tight leash, let him grow up.
@LaughyTaffy22 No, he screwed up on multiple occasions, got caught w drugs AFTER DJK incident. Ferentz looks weak if ARob allowed to return.
@MetsFanVI @bucketochicken This is a chance for KF to show he cares about the person more than the player. (I hadn't thought of that. I just don't see KF backing down from this type of a decision. Absolutely no precedent for it.)
@thewood31 Yes to return. The past has shown we need 5-10 RBs, or so it seems. I think Kirk made a snap judgement with booting him. (Five to 10, it's not an understatement.)
@kaugie01 @MetsFanVI FWIW I don't know either, just thought of the comparison. There was an awful lot of venom for DJK when it was him. (There was. I think that's going to be raw in Hawkdom for a long time. IMO, majority of fans on KF's side. Right or wrong, I think fans feel more of an allegiance to the coach who's been here for 13 (or 22) years.)
@GFlush69 Nope. we have to move on. A-Rob had his second chance. he got suspended, & on that suspension, he made another poor decision.
@Shaver67 AFAIK you're supposed to smoke pot in college- it's certainly not PE- keep grades up+show up for practice = Smoke 'em IYG 'em. ---- Which is to say, Yes :) -- (Should be noted that Shaver's Twitter avatar is Randy Moss. :) )
@pngustin I don't think there's a shot in the dark that it happens, but no harm in letting him be around if he can clean up his act.
@rod_leviathan @kaugie01 @MetsFanVI I made (& continue to make) a lot of questionable decisions in school. Hard to pass too much judgement. (Knowing Rod a little, I'm going "yes" here.)
@rod_leviathan @kaugie01 @MetsFanVI Then again I'm not representing any entity other than myself. I can understand going either way. (Check that, a "maybe.")
@kaugie01 @rod_leviathan @MetsFanVI I used to get a lot more angry when I was younger. Now just saddened by the opportunity passed up. (Hoping to find this wisdom someday.)
@Steve_Liebscher Less of a problem with Arob actions than Prater/Binns OWI. Only could hurt himself. If Kirk wants him back, no argument here. (Robinson wasn't driving. This is a good point.)
@schaam9 Doesn't matter now that he's in the DJK dog house more talented players will get there chance! (Coker's Insight Bowl is easing a lot of the pain. Understandably so.)
@zowie420 Let's give him some time & see how sincere he is about before we rush to any decisions. (But . . . but . . . but . . . Yep, still looking for that wisdom. I'm not sure being in media is helping me on that path.)
@jlgrossman Let him play provided he didn't have any prior Drug related issues. Otherwise C-YA.
@DROHNSON Hell no! (I'm putting this one down as a "no.")
@jasonjberning If he has his stuff together, I say yes. He sounded very sorry for his decisions in his presser. (Still haven't seen it. Didn't get an invite.)
@hawkeye_dub Take him as a walk-on and earn his scholly back. 1 more issue (grades/drugs/etc) and he is done. (Weekly urine test. One fail, gonzo.)
@briandavispdx Sure...give ARob a timeline and list of benchmarks that must be met (academics, comm. service) If he succeeds, welcome back.
@tonyalmq Yes, not the 1st college kid to get caught w/ weed.
@pfac51 Yes. Redshirt 2011, good grades, no weed. 1st gm back is @ soldier field 9/1/12 vs NIU. (He's already redshirted.)
@alexrharrington Definitely. So he made a mistake... how many college aged people don't? A lot do.. big or small. He deserves a 2nd chance.
@AndrewCook20 No, how many second chances does One deserve. Plus, with the talent sitting there, worth the risk of keeping the scholarship. (This brings up a great point. KF is in the business of running a football team and not drug/career counseling.)
@Ericvanf I proxy my vote to Ferentz. The PR-ness of this, however well-intended (?), greatly diminishes its credibility. (Excellent point. Can't argue. I wonder if Alfredo Parrish has ever met Kirk Ferentz? If he had, he'd know the news conference approach only puts more dirt on the grave.)
@Cowling1908 No way. He showed little respect for the program just by being in that car while suspended. This feels to much like PPierce. (Showed little respect, I'm with you. Comparing to Pierre Pierce? Uh uh.)
@bpiercehawks #Arob - nope. However, I agree w/ any decision Coach Ferentz makes. (KF isn't infallible. I think he would be the first one to say that.)
@Bertman12 You should let him Come back nobody is perfect @DJ_Koulianos said it best we are all humans.
@wa1974 What does MPOD mean? (Marry Pretty Or Die, I believe.) EDIT: I stand corrected, it's "Make Plays Or Die." Makes a little more sense, huh?
@emmert024 Yes, after Substance Abuse class. A College Student deserves a second chance.
@urbanbigfoot I say let him back on the team. I'm a firm believer in second chances. But screw up again, and he's out for good.
@HawkLaw96 If Adam Robinson wants to do the work necessary then let him come back. (Again, I wonder if they've had dialogue outside of "Adam? This is coach Ferentz. Good luck with your future endeavors.")
@MileHighPharmerNo way. He's done - he earned it. Go play intramurals, brother! (Colorado Dan Hawkins reference from Colorado. Nicely done.)
@bradymi No. (This reminds me of the scene in "Lost in America," where Albert Brooks is trying to talk his way out of paying a debt in Vegas. "We are done talking here.")
@pmfranks No, made poor choices when the consequences and impact was most clear for the whole team. Slapped Ferentz in the face. (Going off KF's reaction to the Robinson question after the bowl, I think you're right.)
@tophdadoph Give him another shot I say.
@mrjmem Allow him to sit out next yr (redshirt if avail), pay his own way, stays clean, rtn the following yr.
@DCintheSTL Yes, with the caveat that he earns his way back, prove it in the classroom and on the practice field first.
@HS_BHGP Never should have been kicked off in the first place. A very PR move by a coach who never seemed to care about PR. (How was KF kicking him off PR? I'm not criticizing, just would like to hear more.)
@robinst8980 Give him all next year to keep up grades & stay legally clean with zero tolerance. It'd show remorse & drive, back in 2012!
@ottoman89 No, he did his wrong. He has to pay. Plus, he'd take away carries from Coker, and I don't want that. He messed up. (I don't think Coker has a worry.)
@gatton Sure. But he has to pay his way.
@HerkyNation Did the best thing he could have. Stated loyalty and sacrificed playing time somewhere else. Let em work for it.
@dsaxton No. His actions embarrassed KF. If KF wants to send a message to his team he needs to stick to his word. (I don't think this has been brought up enough. I'm wondering how much it played into the decision. Caused for an extremely stressful Monday in PHX.)
@Hawkdaddyia NO - he disrespected his coach and his team-mates - really bad timing after DJK fiasco.... (Disrespected. Certainly not his intention, but the action spoke volumes.)
@kvnrbnsn Yes under a 2 stop process. Complete phase 1 (all individual character goals) phase 2 (program specific goals).
@the_cooler No. If KF lets him back then critics will point him for lack of control of program. Better to help find a new FB program.
@demmert4Get with KF lay out steps to get back. If he meets those standards, let him come back. Lack of failed drug test is big to me.
@HMBBabyface Better question: would you want a team full of classless drug addicts if it won a Rose Bowl? How many wins is integrity worth? (The correct answer is none. The correct answer in today's NCAA setting? That team is carrying the crystal football.)
@kirkjjohnson No & am insulted he's using media 4 his platform. (Hey, I wasn't invited! But yeah, I would've gone. I imagine this fact undermines his request.)
@PjAdamovicz I say no but believe the concussions played a role in class work not the marijuana use. (I would say that's a fair statement. As far as we know, his suspensions were all academic-related.)
@Engstler34 Dumb decision by Adam, but not one that shouldn't deserve another chance. I'd support letting back on team if keeps clean.
@gabesturdevant Let him back as a back-up. He knows what he did was wrong and he seems to actually mean his apology.
@RHS76 I would give him the chance to earn back the trust and place on team again. The concussions is of major concern to me.
@brandonjalles Yes.....double secret probation. (Outstanding! And we know how that worked out for the Deltas.)
@RHS76 Given the troubling trend of post-concussions, I'm curious to know if there are correlations to his memory and academic work.
@bdj79 Put him on UAs, make sure his grades are up to par, then absolutely let him come back.
@ErikTheBrandt Give him the Marion route. If he keeps it 2gether he cn practice end of sept n play end of oct. bad timing 4 him= xs punishd.
@iahawkfan89 I'd say no. He needs to change his habits for himself and future career not because he wants to play football again. (Yes, yes and yes. Forget the bling life that football can suck you into. Small stages are where Adam Robinson will win his life back.)
@AirForceHawkeye Give him a set of conditions and if he meets them, make it happen. Let him show how bad he wants it.
@pmchawk Let him plead to his teammates. I don't mind either way. If he stays he has to prove academics and his teammates come 1st. (The Leadership Council has some say in things, but not these types of things. That said, his teammates really rallied for him when he was their only RB.)
@GookyBear Yes. He is loyal and apologized for his mistake. It was controversial to kick him off the team in the first place.
@dezeeuw5 Yes. He's gonna go somewhere. Might as well be at "home". Be on a short leash. Needs to rid himself of bad influences. (I agree. Doesn't mean we're right, but football routine can't hurt. Along with weekly urine tests and being forced to carry a 3.0 GPA.)
@MattMescher Let him come back.
@jgavin12 No. No need for the distractions or the hassle with Coker, Johnson, Coe and Mikail. (The point here being that this is a football team and not social services. That's a point that 70,585 makes every game in Kinnick.)
Here is WHO-TV's report from Sunday's news conference:
Yes -- 76 votes
No -- 35 votesMaybe -- 6 votes